How Ed Miliband could save Dave from Boris


11:17 am - September 14th 2012

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contribution by Giselle Green

David Cameron isn’t the only party leader who should be worrying about the rise and rise of Boris Johnson. Ed Miliband, it’s time for action.

The Olympics triumph has meant the Mayor walking away from the Games with more gold (in the bank of Boris) than the British Olympians and Paralympians combined. His pop-star performances in Hyde Park and outside Buckingham Palace have made it clear he can work a crowd as well as Dizzee Rascal, even if he can’t dance like him.

Indeed today the Spectator reports that fourteen Tory MPs have already written to the chair of the backbench 1922 Committee calling for Cameron to be removed as party leader.

The problem for Labour is that the incumbent Mayor of London is very good at evading proper political scrutiny while safely ensconced at City Hall.

Barely called to account, he is able to lurch from one PR stunt to the next, plastering his name all over the Olympics parade, cosying up to royalty (the Queen and David Beckham), and planning a world tour to personally kick-start the economy, a clever way of building his international credentials.

The magic cloak of invincibility that is wrapped around the Mayor while at City Hall needs to be deactivated quickly, or otherwise he could take over the reins of the Tory Party relatively free from negative political baggage.

For Labour to start making something stick to Boris’ Teflon-coated invincibility cloak, Ed Miliband could usefully put in place a Shadow Mayor team, capable of holding Boris to account on a regular basis, leading a feisty assault on his spurious statistics and fatuous facts.

The problem with our mayoral system is that there is no official position of Shadow Mayor. Labour London Assembly members don’t exactly land any killer blows at Mayoral Question Time and are barely known outside City Hall.

The departure of Tessa Jowell would be a good moment to ensure that a high profile successor is put in place who can keep Boris in check – for the sake of Londoners, and the whole country. Unless Boris is forced to take seriously his job of representing eight million Londoners, the next few years will be one big PR junket for the man who may lead the Tories into the next election.

David Cameron may well be hoping that Ed Miliband can save both of them from Boris.


Giselle Green ran Siobhan Benita’s media campaign in the London Mayoral election

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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Conservative Party ,London Mayor ,Westminster

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Reader comments


Interesting idea, but Tessa Jowell was responsible for the Olympics, not London. A ‘shadow mayor team’ could work with the Labour Assembly members (if only to raise their game?), but it would have to be separate from the process of selecting Labour’s next Mayoral candidate.

Certainly there needs to be a more prominent counter-commentary to Boris’ propaganda.

In response to redpesto – Tessa Jowell was actually also Shadow Minister for London. Fact that no one realised this illustrates the problem.

4. Cheesy Monkey

The problem here is not with the holding of Boris to account – the AMs do their best with next to no power to stop Boris waffling and evading questions; and various bloggers have his number – it’s with the media who routinely soft-soap this albino furby. Why? I’m guessing it’s media types thinking he’s one of them, which of course he is. If a national newspaper really went for Boris, his popularity would evaporate like a fart on a parade float.

“Boris Johnson is Britain’s most respected politician, poll shows”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/sep/14/boris-johnson-most-respected-politician?newsfeed=true

Now is the time for prayer or a plan to emigrate.

6. Mike Killingworth

The only – tiny – consolation is that those of us who voted against the creation of a Mayoralty in the first place can ask: were you with us, Giselle?

The antics of both Ken and Boris in office were entirely predictable – indeed, were presented as a highly desirable. Labour needs to ‘fess up and offer Londoners the G.L.C. back.

Why doesn’t Labour bring on Eddie Izzard for the next mayorship?

Eddie said he wanted to do something for us Brits by running for an office with the Labour party. Eddie vs Boris? I think I know who would win!

Beat them at their own game!


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Jason Brickley

    How Ed Miliband could save Dave from Boris http://t.co/tEpwn3rc

  2. sunny hundal

    Clever piece by @GiselleG7 – 'How Ed Miliband could save Dave from Boris' http://t.co/aLOKbFJq

  3. oliver bishop

    Clever piece by @GiselleG7 – 'How Ed Miliband could save Dave from Boris' http://t.co/aLOKbFJq

  4. Bryn Phillips

    Clever piece by @GiselleG7 – 'How Ed Miliband could save Dave from Boris' http://t.co/aLOKbFJq

  5. Huston Gilmore

    A very sensible call for a Shadow London Mayoral team: http://t.co/zlnWVjW9 #HoldBorisToAccount

  6. Paul Crowley

    Labour should appoint a "shadow Mayor team" to draw attention to Teflon Boris's many failings http://t.co/FdecnVdg

  7. Jonathan Taylor

    RT @sunny_hundal: Clever piece by @GiselleG7 – 'How Ed Miliband could save Dave from Boris' http://t.co/4YtMsz2Z

  8. Roy Bailey

    Clever piece by @GiselleG7 – 'How Ed Miliband could save Dave from Boris' http://t.co/aLOKbFJq

  9. Simon Bowkett

    #Boris is not subject to any robust political scrutiny…work to be done by #Labour. http://t.co/l2LOeCRk Too true!

  10. Siobhan Benita

    Clever piece by @GiselleG7 – 'How Ed Miliband could save Dave from Boris' http://t.co/aLOKbFJq

  11. Jeevan Rai

    Clever piece by @GiselleG7 – 'How Ed Miliband could save Dave from Boris' http://t.co/aLOKbFJq

  12. Fiona Laird

    V good RT @sunny_hundal: Clever piece by @GiselleG7 – 'How Ed Miliband could save Dave from Boris' http://t.co/iClcFa8A

  13. Cam Blackwood

    Clever piece by @GiselleG7 – 'How Ed Miliband could save Dave from Boris' http://t.co/aLOKbFJq

  14. Denny

    Labour should appoint a "shadow Mayor team" to draw attention to Teflon Boris's many failings http://t.co/FdecnVdg

  15. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – How Ed Miliband could save Dave from Boris http://t.co/oJznXtyv

  16. MinniePony

    This is a genuinely good idea: Labour needs a shadow Mayor for London to hold Boris to account http://t.co/aLOKbFJq by @GiselleG7

  17. McGinOxford

    This is a genuinely good idea: Labour needs a shadow Mayor for London to hold Boris to account http://t.co/aLOKbFJq by @GiselleG7

  18. Giselle Green

    Read my article on why Ed Miliband should save Dave from Boris | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/TiVcOOKz via @libcon

  19. Sharon Avraham

    This is a genuinely good idea: Labour needs a shadow Mayor for London to hold Boris to account http://t.co/aLOKbFJq by @GiselleG7

  20. Nick Ryder

    This is a genuinely good idea: Labour needs a shadow Mayor for London to hold Boris to account http://t.co/aLOKbFJq by @GiselleG7

  21. Lover

    This is a genuinely good idea: Labour needs a shadow Mayor for London to hold Boris to account http://t.co/aLOKbFJq by @GiselleG7

  22. Ryan Ellis

    This is a genuinely good idea: Labour needs a shadow Mayor for London to hold Boris to account http://t.co/aLOKbFJq by @GiselleG7

  23. Tristram Wyatt

    This is a genuinely good idea: Labour needs a shadow Mayor for London to hold Boris to account http://t.co/aLOKbFJq by @GiselleG7

  24. Onkar Sahota

    This is a genuinely good idea: Labour needs a shadow Mayor for London to hold Boris to account http://t.co/aLOKbFJq by @GiselleG7

  25. Phil Taylor

    This is a genuinely good idea: Labour needs a shadow Mayor for London to hold Boris to account http://t.co/aLOKbFJq by @GiselleG7

  26. Giselle Green

    @JessTyrr check out my article on how Labour could save Dave from Boris: http://t.co/cWCOiceY

  27. Giselle Green

    @DAlexanderMP You MUST read my article on why Ed should save Dave from Boris | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/TiVcOOKz via @libcon





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